This issue concerning the Sussex County Sheriff will just not go away. This is why I support the legislators who have brought HB 290 to the General Assembly. This bill is intended to clarify language in Delaware Code as to the authority and powers of the office of sheriff in the three counties of Delaware.
This bill has drawn a lot of attention from some calling themselves conservatives. They have argued that to diminish the office of sheriff will lead to tyranny. They have portrayed the office of sheriff as our last line of defense from tyranny. The latest tactic is to accuse our elected officials of being corruptible, all the while stating that the office of sheriff is somehow above corruption and as such, is the only elected office that can hold out of control elected officials to task.
This is incredibly short-sighted in my opinion. These people seem to base much of their opinion in this matter on the goodness of the current office holder in Sussex County, Jeff Christopher. This is a very narrow view point on such an important issue, again in my opinion.
I on the other hand base my opinion on a concern for the next sheriff, or the one after that, of the ten after that. This is the great unknown factor in this debate. While our current sheriff may use the powers in a manner in keeping with the wishes of the people, how my friends can we know what use another might make of those powers?
It is an unrealistic view-point to think that one elected office is above corruption, while making the argument that others are corrupted. To think that the office of sheriff is our last line of defense against tyranny is to do a disservice to our citizens and our system of government. It is the people who are the last line of defense against tyranny. The same as the office of sheriff is accountable to the voters, so are all elected offices. it is up to the people to hold those offices accountable, not to run to just another elected official to solve the problem.
I have been asked lately what kind of conservative am I? My answer is always the same, I am the type of conservative that doesn’t want my government telling me how to live my life, even if that government is being labeled a conservative government. I am the type of conservative that wish to not grow government’s size, cost or authority over my personal life, again, even if said government paints itself as being conservative.
There are some so-called conservatives out there that would tell you when its time to pray, they would tell you that only the office of sheriff can defend us from tyranny. They support expanding government when it suits their needs or agenda. Therefore in my view-point, they are not true conservatives, but merely big government conservatives.
Let me close by again stating that I take a larger broader view of this matter concerning the sheriff’s office, I have no personal ax to grind with Jeff Christopher, however the emotional response by some of his supporters does cause me grave concern. They seem to be personally invested in this for their own reasons.
I would caustion Sheriff Christopher, with all due respect to take care of the company he keeps and who he allows to carry his banner.
I would also encourage our legislators who originally signed onto HB 290 to stay the course and to not be bullied by a vocal minority who seem to be casting about insearch of the cause of the day to promote their own agenda.